The Pistons’ season is finally over, Joe Dumars is officially no longer president of the organization and the head coaching position is currently blank.
After this season’s team dynamic issues, chances are that the Piston squad, which fans see on the court next season, will not include the exact starters they saw this past year.
There are a few select problems the Pistons must deal with before tipoff next season if the franchise hopes to end their playoff drought.
Power forward Greg Monroe enters restricted free-agency this summer and will reportedly ask for a maximum contract despite limited success in a Pistons’ jersey. Restricted free-agency means the Pistons will have a chance to match his contract and keep him. Currently, no one on the Pistons’ roster receives the maximum pay for their experience. Monroe would receive just under $14 million yearly compared to his current $4 million and change.
A similarly troubling issue in the Pistons’ organization is what to do with Josh Smith? Signed by Dumars during the summer of 2013, the NBA veteran came to Detroit with high expectations which he clearly did not live up to. Smith has three seasons left in Detroit on his four year contract. Detroit could attempt to unload him somehow or they could attempt to salvage whatever productivity is left in Smith. Without Monroe competing with him down low, perhaps his numbers will go up.
Loyer took over the team as interim head coach after theAll-Star break with the dismissal of first-year head coach Maurice Cheeks. Loyer debuted with a win over San Antonio. His team since then tanked, finishing bottom eight in the league. Owner Tom Gores has since defended the firing of Maurice Cheeks. Though Loyer arguably could have been tanking in order to save his team’s first round draft pick, it is unlikely that an incoming general manager would ask Loyer to keep his position as head coach.
This brings up the problem of replacing Loyer. There have been several coaches speculated to have interest in this position. There could also be a few players interested in turning into head coaches much like Jason Kidd this past season with the Brooklyn Nets. The 37-year-old shooting guard and 2004 NBA Champion Chauncey Billups was among this list. So far everything is up in the air, but the prospect of a Billups-run Pistons team is interesting especially after Kidd’s success.
Dumars’ Empty Position
Probably most important in the organization right now is the spot of general manager. It would be Dumars’ replacement which solves the other issues on this list. Since Gores’ basketball knowledge is shaky at best, Dumars’ replacement needs to be spot-on in his experience and knowledge about the sport. For many Detroit fans, the sentiment seems to be any general manager that is not Dumars is a better fit in Detroit than Dumars was. Mainly, this incoming general manager has to make a smart draft pick and not mar his career with another Darko Milicic on his record.
2014 NBA Draft
There seems to be a lot of talent in this upcoming Draft and the Pistons are lucky enough to have a top-eight draft pick. Mock drafts have predicted Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Australian Dante Exum going in the top three picks in one order or another. Jabari Parker and Julius Randle also make appearances. If the Pistons are left to pick eighth, they can still gain Marcus Smart, Doug McDermott, Gary Harris, Nik Stauskas, Tyler Ennis or Croatia’s Dario Saric among others.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.